We are passionate about your personal and professional development and will do our best to equip you with the knowledge, skills and experience to make most of your postgraduate research journey.

Why is it important?

Continuous personal and professional development will help you:

  • Become an effective researcher and stand out in your field.
  • Develop your existing attributes to achieve your full potential.
  • Assist your career progress after completion of your degree.
How can we help?

We provide a comprehensive training and development programme for postgraduate researchers, regardless of location or mode of study. Our inclusive suite of training provision comprises a mixture of live workshops and on-demand resources for independent learning. You can find more information on the full range of our training provision in the Training Opportunities sections of the website.

Although the training and development courses are optional, there is, however, some mandatory training which you must complete during your first year of study. Please see Mandatory Training section to find out more.

Identifying your needs

You should review your skills with your supervisor(s) and use your Six-Monthly Review  to identify areas for development. You may also discuss your development needs with one of the PGR School Training Team: pgrs-training@abdn.ac.uk.

We also run regular Training & Development drop-in sessions throughout the year. This is an informal opportunity to discuss your training needs, provide feedback on our training programme and share your own practice with other PhD researchers. You can book your place on the course booking system.

Planning your development

Once you have identified skills that you would like to develop, you need to choose the most suitable way to do it: by attending a workshop, engaging in an activity or exploring an online resource.
It is best to have a training and development plan and be strategic when timing your development: is there an upcoming opportunity where you can put learnt skills into practice? Or would it be more productive to work on this skill at another time?


It is also important to map your development across the entire PhD journey: what skills would it be more useful to develop in year 1, 2 and 3 of your PhD programme? You can find further guidance in Planning your Development section of the website [LINK].update

Evidencing and practicing your skills

The experience of putting your skills into practice will enhance your own professional growth and, where appropriate, provide good evidence of your skills to a future employer. We would always encourage you to think about opportunities to test out new skills. The PGR School runs various events, competitions and opportunities to help you practice your skills throughout the year. Please see Skills into Practice section for more information.